Typography Summer School Antwerp, EcTd, and Covid-19

Hof van Liere

Under normal circumstances the Typography Summer School 2020 would have taken place at the University of Antwerp last week. Unfortunately but understandably, the university had to cancel it due to Covid-19. Doing the sessions remotely was not an option: interaction with fellow students and being present on location (the historical buildings of the university are beautiful) are, after all, very important aspects of a summer school. And, of course, socializing after an intensive day full of lectures, discussions, and excursions is an indispensable part. Zooming in on the (role of) research into the interaction between typographic conventions and the digital age will now take place in August next year.

Ascendonica Romaine

In the meantime, research plays an important role in the Expert class Type design course of the Plantin Institute of Typography (see also: this topic ). The students of the 2019–2020 course investigated whether there is a cross standardization and even a cross unitization between Robert Granjon’s Ascendonica Romaine (1569) and Ascendonica Cursive (1570) models. Unfortunately, the exhibition of the results of their research and related revivals, which would open on Saturday, September 19 in the beautiful 16th-century St. Paul’s Church in Antwerp, had to be postponed until March 2021. Then the exhibition, in which the importance of research for type design will be emphasized, will take place in the Museum Plantin-Moretus.

Ascendonica Cursive

Also due to the Covid-19 outbreak is the decision to make the Expert class Type design 2020-2021 course entirely remote. The EcTd students normally come from all over the world, but that is, of course, very difficult at the moment because of all uncertainties. The disadvantage of the remote approach is that, like the Typography Summer School, the encounters of the students (in this case under the roof of the museum) are a very important aspect, as is the direct access to the historical sources for their research. However, there are many people interested in the course who are not in the position to travel to Antwerp (on average once every three weeks). For them, the remote edition, which is intended as a one-off exception, is welcome, I reckon.

Ascendonica Romaine revived